Who is a Digital Native?

by Andrés Felipe Arias Palma last modified Apr 04, 2012 10:54 AM

Andrés Felipe Arias Palma
Barranquilla, Colombia
Journalist and Communications Analyst

Video Proposal

I think many people are digital natives unknowingly. Being a digital native is a relationship with activism and society, not as they initially thought. It was a condition of being born in specific times and external factors. In the video, I will interview people about who and what is a digital native? How to use the Internet? What is internet advantages and disadvantages for society where everything is interconnected to the Web.

Video Genre
Interview footage on video


On being a Digital Native
I think that a Digital Native is somebody who has made technology a basic tool to cover all of her or his own needs. Anyway, there aren’t any specific features that can define a digital native because it’s a condition you define for yourself. I don’t know if I’m a digital native, but technology has been very useful for my work and social initiatives.

You agree with a perception that the digital native is typically a “White, American, Young, Male” who’s always connected to his gadgets and apathetic to social issues?
I think it’s just a stereotype, but there are people who don’t have any social life and are stuck at home, online, all day long; and there is the person that works with social projects and makes use of technology as an instrument to optimize the labor as well. I think that the digital natives can be many, starting from being a web developer to responding to a simple tweet - you choose on what side or what kind of person you want to be.

Can digital natives from developing nations create an impact with digital activism?
It is very important to know which one of the tools we employ is functional for what we want and what we need. For example, I am not going to use twitter to target a community that doesn’t have any idea of what Web 2.0 is; in this case, perhaps it is more useful to use some other kind of technology or service. At present, I support the “Asociación Latinoamericana de Educación Radiofónica” on virtual workshops and with social media. Thus, I work with popular audiovisual education.

How effective are digital activism campaigns in raising awareness about an issue in comparison to traditional activism such as protest march or hunger strikes?
The traditional protest will never fade out. What’s happening is that the network and the new technologies are making facts more visible, therefore issues are more transparent today and people are more aware. It depends on how each activist strategizes for his / her campaign. The real problem is when people mobilize support only through one platform and neglect the other. Both, digital and traditional (activism) go hand in hand.

The ‘Get Kony’ campaign created by US-based NGO Invisible Children has created controversy. What are your thoughts on the campaign?
Although I haven’t seen it, the news and comments on the video brings to my mind the image of the typical ‘Young, White, American, Male’ stereotype that we just spoke about. However, it’s worth mentioning that the “Get Kony” campaign has captured the attention of people, maybe because it uses a lot of audiovisual material and has received support from mainstream media, so perhaps something good might come out of it.

Filed under:
Digital Natives Video Contest


Twitter Buzz